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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Inlfuence of Soil Fertility on Carbon Sequestration

Authors
item Halvorson, Ardell
item Murphy, Larry - FLUID FERT FOUNDATION
item Reule, Curtis
item Follett, Ronald
item Poole, Jim - POOLE FARMS, TEXLINE, TX

Submitted to: Fluid Fertilizer Foundation Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2000
Publication Date: February 20, 2000
Citation: Halvorson, A.D., Murphy, L., Reule, C.A., Follett, R.F., Poole, J. 2000. Inlfuence of soil fertility on carbon sequestration. Fluid Fertilizer Foundation Symposium Proceedings. Scottsdale, AZ. 17:204-211.

Interpretive Summary: Several long-term N fertility studies conducted in the northern and central Great Plains were examined to determine the influence of N fertilization on soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. Three studies were examined that utilized several different cropping and tillage systems. Two were dryland studies and one an irrigated study. Nitrogen fertilization increased the quantity of crop residue returned to the soil in all studies. Nitrogen fertilization increased the quantity of SOC present when compared to plots with no N application after 9- to 30-years of cropping. In all cases, SOC increased with increasing N rate. Examination of dryland farming systems in western Nebraska showed that a no-till continuous cropping system after 27 years had a greater level of SOC and total soil N than an adjacent field that had been conventionally tilled and maintained in a predominantly crop- w rotation. The no-till system had SOC levels approaching that of an adjacent native sod area. A new project to evaluate the influence of soi fertility level on SOC levels in two irrigated continuous corn fields in Texas is also discussed. The research projects examined in this report indicated that a good N fertility program to optimize crop yields will also have positive effects on SOC levels.

Technical Abstract: Several long-term N fertility studies conducted in the northern and central Great Plains were examined to determine the influence of N fertilization on soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. Three studies were examined that utilized several different cropping and tillage systems. Two were dryland studies and one an irrigated study. Nitrogen fertilization increased the quantity of crop residue returned to the soil in all studies. Nitrogen fertilization increased the quantity of SOC present when compared to plots with no N application after 9- to 30-years of cropping. In all cases, SOC increased with increasing N rate. Examination of dryland farming systems in western Nebraska showed that a no-till continuous cropping system after 27 years had a greater level of SOC and total soil N than an adjacent field that had been conventionally tilled and maintained in a predominantly crop- w rotation. The no-till system had SOC levels approaching that of an adjacent native sod area. A new project to evaluate the influence of soi fertility level on SOC levels in two irrigated continuous corn fields in Texas is also discussed. The research projects examined in this report indicated that a good N fertility program to optimize crop yields will also have positive effects on SOC levels.

Last Modified: 4/24/2014
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